Press Release

HSE National Service Plan 2018 – Increased Supports for Older People and Streamlining of Home Support Services

Jim Daly TD, Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, today welcomed the publication of the HSE’s National Service Plan 2018 which sets out the type and volume of health and social care services to be provided by the Health Service Executive (HSE) in 2018 from the funding made available in Budget 2018.

Funding for Older Persons’ Services will increase from €763m in 2017 to €811m in 2018, while the budget for the Nursing Home Support Scheme will increase from €940m to almost €962m. Services for 2018 will continue to place a particular emphasis on facilitating people to live well at home and in their communities for as long as possible, in accordance with Government policy.

Minister Daly confirmed an additional investment of over €18m for home support services which will provide a further 754,000 hours and will support 1,170 people to leave hospitals: “Since being appointed as Minister with responsibility for Older People, I have made improved access to home support services a key priority. Progress in this area is reflected in the additional funding made available for winter 2017, the increased funding and level of activity planned for 2018 and in the work being progress on the development of a statutory home care scheme”.

The Minister went on to confirm that the HSE has set about work on streamlining homecare and home help services by moving towards a single funded home support service. This work will bring together the funding for home help and home care packages from 2018 so home care for older people will operate as a single funded service, called “home support services”. This new approach will provide significant benefits for the service users, the public and the health system, such as by making the services easier to understand, by streamlining application processes resulting in the requirement to make only one application & decision for home support services for older people & will facilitate service users to move to changed levels of services as their assessed needs change without the need for an additional application process.

Minister Daly stated: “This year I requested that the HSE and the Department continue to improve delivery of services to our older people and I am happy to announce this new approach to delivering home support services from 2018. This approach will improve the efficiency of the system, improve client experience and also improve oversight by making performance data clearer and easier to understand. It will also assist with our preparation and work on examining and developing a new statutory scheme for home support. ”

Finally, the Minister stressed the importance of ensuring the robustness of comparative analysis. On foot of this, 2017 national activity levels are also available in the new format so that direct comparisons can be easily made and verified between 2017 and 2018 activity. In 2018 some 17.094m home support hours will be provided to 50,500 people, which compares with 16.34m hours delivered to 50,000 people (home help and home hours combined), showing an increase of 754,000 hours and an increase of 500 people in receipt in 2018.